On Saturday, April 13 art enthusiasts will get a rare glimpse ‘behind the curtains’ during the Alliance for the Arts’ Second Annual Artists’ Studio Tour.  The daylong, self-guided tour features artists in their Cape Coral studios.  The tour includes fiber artist Roseline Young and abstract minimalist painter Alicia Schmidt.

Born in New Orleans, Young is a Louisiana Folklife Program “Master Artist.”  After living aboard her sailboat for years she put down her anchor in Cape Coral and now teaches, explores and creates weaving, wall quilts, wearables and other fiber art.  With a Masters from Tulane University, she continues to create sculptures and tapestries, including a large one at the New Orleans International Airport entitled “Crescent City Reflections” depicting blue-printed scenes from New Orleans surrounded by woven tubes of the Mississippi River.  Rose has a piece in the Smithsonian Museum and was honored to weave for Laura Bush during her time in the White House.  Her “Gone With the Wind” tapestry is featured in the recent PBS documentary “The Fabric of Florida’s History.”

Alicia Schmidt has lived in Cape Coral since 1966, moving from Dunkirk, NY.  Her artwork has been exhibited nationally, regionally and locally in solo, group, and juried exhibitions.  Schmidt has been the recipient of many awards over the years.  Her body of work includes paintings, drawings and watercolors.  Schmidt is known today primarily as a minimalist abstract painter.  She works in deep saturations of color and creates sparsely designed compositions. However, she has explored various subjects through the years. The human figure has been used most frequently, interpreted through different techniques and always incorporating simplicity of form.  She and Roseline Young will be in their studios on Saturday, April 13, welcoming participants in the Second Annual Artists’ Studio Tour.

The tour begins at the Alliance campus, where ticket holders will enjoy a continental breakfast from 9–11AM and receive their map to the artists’ studios.  While at the Alliance, guests can explore on-site artist studios, including the Logan Studio, Gulf Coast Atelier, Studio 201 & Union Artist Studios.  Participants will then spend the day choosing the order and the amount of time they spend at each studio on the tour.  Guests will meet artists who work in a variety of mediums, including painting, fiber, glass, wood & wire.  In addition to Roseline Young and Alicia Schmidt, this year’s featured artists are:  Paul Adamick, Paula Eckerty, Petra Kaiser, Phil Krym, & Shirley Hales.  The tour concludes at the Cape Coral Arts Studio with hors d’oeuvres and wine tasting reception from 3-4PM, with more artists demonstrating silversmithing, stone and clay work!  Tickets are $49 and are available online or by calling 239-939-2787.

future of art2Throughout the month of April the Alliance for the Arts gallery walls will be covered from floor to ceiling by artwork created by Lee County students.  2013 marks the 21st year the Alliance has partnered with Lee Arts Educators Association (LAEA) to display youth work in a formal exhibit.  This annual show features more than forty schools and hundreds of pieces of art.  Artwork in a wide variety of mediums by elementary and middle school students will be on display from April 3-12 with an opening reception on Wednesday, April 3 from 5-7PM.  Their work will be replaced by high school pieces, with a second opening reception on Wednesday, April 17 from 5-7PM.  Judges will select high school winners in several categories and award a Best in Show.  Refreshments for the high school reception will be generously provided by Evan’s Neighborhood Pizza.  The high school work will remain on display until April 27.

LAEA is a group of art teachers who work tirelessly to recognize and promote area students that show an interest and aptitude in the visual arts.  Artwork by LEAE member teachers will be on display in the Alliance Member Gallery and Foulds Theatre lobby throughout April.

Recent studies indicate that kids who are involved in the arts are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, elected to class office and participate in science and math fairs.  Join your friends and neighbors at the Alliance on April 3 and April 17 to support these fantastic youth artists, or come by anytime to peruse the shows while they’re on display.

“Nostos” is a short film about a painter’s final attempts to have his work recognized, and his new level of passion and dedication that nobody could have imagined.  The short film will be screened in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance for the Arts on Saturday, March 23 at 2PM.  Its director & producer, Jonathan Chekroune, will be on hand to discuss the film’s inspiration and what it took to get it made.  Chekroune, who lives in Miami, funded “Nostos” with a successful Kickstarter campaign.  The event is part of the 2013 Fort Myers Film Festival’s more than 20 hours of screenings over four days at multiple venues.

“Nostos” is one of several short films that will be screened at the Alliance on March 23.  It will be preceded by The Florida Suite by Melbourne filmmaker Jeff Thompson, who will also be on hand for the screening.  The subject of the film is a retired attorney who lives in a modern log cabin in the middle of his 12-acre organic citrus grove, where he spends his days caring for his three dogs, his fruit, and his mother, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.  The film also pays tribute to the role that Florida played in the development of composer Frederick Delius, and is completely set to, and named in honor of, his very first symphonic composition: The Florida Suite.

Space is limited so arrive early to guarantee a seat in the Foulds Theatre at the Alliance.  There’s a $5 suggested donation at the door.  The Fort Myers Film Festival runs March 21-24 with screenings at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center and the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre.

dinolingo_logoThe Alliance for the Arts is partnering with the Fort Myers-based company Dino Lingo Language Learning Programs for Kids to offer afterschool Spanish language immersion classes beginning Thursday, March 21 from 4-4:45PM.  There is a TRY IT session on Saturday, March 16 from 10-10:45AM.  The TRY It is FREE for Alliance members or just $5 for nonmembers, and allows children ages 4 to 7 the opportunity to sample the class before signing up for the full six week session.  Pre-registration is required and space is limited to 12 students. Click here to download a registration form, or call us at 239-939-2787 to register today.

In this unique and cutting edge language program, children are not taught to speak Spanish; they are taught in Spanish. This Spanish immersion class provides the foundation for understanding and speaking Spanish as a second language.  Activities include language books, flash cards, games, DVDs and more.

The Acoustic Music Society of Southwest Florida presents three hours of live bluegrass music on the theater stage at the Alliance for the Arts on Sunday, March 17 from 2-5:00PM.  The show features Venice-based Swinging Bridge, Naples-based blues guitarist Frank Corso and Fort Myers-based Bugtussle Ramblers.

Tickets are $7 at the door, or $5 for Alliance members.  Seating is open and first come, first serve.  Children 12 and under are free if accompanied by an adult.  March is Music In Our Schools Month, and this year’s theme is “Music Lasts a Lifetime.”  Don’t miss this great opportunity to introduce children to the rich history and heritage of bluegrass!  Doors open at 1:30PM.